This creamy Chickpea Pasta Recipe is tender penne pasta tossed in a rich and delicious cream sauce with sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and you’ll have a restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own home.

From pasta salad to mac & cheese, pasta is something the whole family loves, so we have it quite often. This chickpea pasta recipe is one of our new favorites that I’ve been making on repeat because it’s simple and definitely delicious. 

Super creamy and packed with flavor, this dish with chickpea pasta tossed in a white sauce is special enough for a romantic dinner, but is so easy, it can be thrown together for the kids with no problem! This one’s a winner, guys! Add it to your meal plan and make it soon!

Ingredients needed

You’re going to fall in LOVE with this pasta recipe! It requires simple, easy-to-find ingredients and comes together with very little effort. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need:

  • Chickpea pasta. Made with chickpeas, this pasta is a high protein, lower carb, gluten free alternative to traditional pasta.
  • Butter. For cooking the garlic and adding flavor to the sauce. Use dairy free, as desired.
  • Garlic. A must in any pasta dish. I highly recommend fresh garlic and not the kind from a jar.
  • Flour. You need just a small amount for thickening the cream sauce.
  • Broth. I use better than bouillon veggie broth, but whatever you have will work.
  • Heavy cream. To add richness to the sauce. Feel free to use a plant-based milk, if preferred – just be sure that the milk is plain and without any additional flavoring.
  • Cheese. This recipe uses a combination of parmesan cheese and mozzarella. If you’d like this recipe to be vegan-friendly, be sure to use vegan cheese varieties. Violife makes a great parmesan cheese that melts nicely.
  • Italian seasoning. Just this one simple seasoning is all you need because we want the deliciousness of the cheesy cream sauce to be front and center.
  • Salt + pepper. To bring all of the flavor together.
  • Red pepper flakes. Optional, for a subtle spice to the dish.
  • Fresh basil. Adds color and flavor to the recipe.
  • Sun dried tomatoes. Sweet, tangy, and chewy, and the perfect garnish for this dish!
Penne pasta tossed in a creamy white sauce.

How to make this recipe

Making this creamy pasta dish couldn’t be easier! Here’s a quick rundown of the process, but for full instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Boil pasta. Start a pot of salted boiling water and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Once cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce. Melt butter in a skillet, add in garlic and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in the flour to make a paste. Pour in the broth and continue to whisk until the flour is fully dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in the cream, parmesan + mozzarella, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce thickens.
  3. Combine pasta with cream sauce. Stir in the pasta, sun dried tomatoes, and basil. Stir to coat the pasta in the cheese sauce and add additional pasta water to thin out the sauce a bit as needed. I usually end up adding about ¼ cup of additional liquid. 
  4. Enjoy! Plate pasta and serve with steamed broccoli, a side salad, and/or a slice of crusty bread. 

Ways to customize this pasta dish

This chickpea pasta recipe is delicious as-is, but feel free to change things up to customize it to your family’s preferences and what you have available. Here’s some options:

  • Pasta. We really love chickpea pasta, but any variety of pasta works. You can also use different shapes of pasta – cavatappi, rigatoni, penne or fusilli are all great. 
  • Add protein. Feel free to toss the pasta with cooked, diced chicken breast, shredded rotisserie chicken, Italian sausage or cooked shrimp.
  • Add veggies. I think chopped roasted bell pepper and chopped artichokes would be super tasty in this recipe. You could also add sautéed veggies such as mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli or eggplant.
Pasta in a cream sauce served in a bowl.

Frequently asked questions

What chickpea pasta is best?

I used banza chickpea pasta for this recipe and really love it, but I’ve also tried the barilla chickpea pasta, and it’s great too! Both are pretty widely available and I always see them at my local grocery stores, located near other pastas.

Is chickpea pasta healthy?

While chickpea pasta has about the same calories per serving as regular pasta, it has significantly higher nutritional value. It has twice the protein and four times the fiber of regular pasta, with fewer carbs. It’s also naturally gluten free.

Chickpea pasta nutrition: 

Per serving, chickpea pasta has

  • 23g of protein (about 10g more than regular pasta)
  • 8g of fiber (5g more than regular pasta)
  • 48g net carbs (compared to 71g for regular pasta)

Can this recipe be made gluten free?

It’s easy to make this creamy pasta dish gluten free! Because chickpea pasta is naturally gluten free, simply use an all purpose gluten free flour to make the sauce. 

Can this recipe be made vegan?

This is already a meatless pasta recipe, but to make it vegan, use vegan butter, vegetable broth, vegan cheese and swap the heavy cream for coconut or oat milk.

Storage tips

Leftover chickpea pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave, splashed with a bit of water, broth or milk to keep it from drying out as you rewarm it.

Chickpea pasta topped with fresh herbs and sun dried tomatoes.

I hope your family enjoys this dish as much as mine does!

As usual, PLEASE let me know if you make this recipe and how you like it! You can come back here and leave a comment or tag me on instagram (@foodwithfeeling).

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Chickpea Pasta cooked in a creamy sauce in a skillet.

Chickpea Pasta Recipe


  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This creamy Chickpea Pasta Recipe is tender penne pasta tossed in a rich and delicious cream sauce with sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and you’ll have a restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own home.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 box of chickpea pasta (~8 oz)
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter (vegan as desired)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of broth (I use better than bouillon veggie broth)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream (can swap this for coconut cream or oat milk)
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan, grated*
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella*
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of sun dried tomatoes, sliced (or whole as desired)

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Once done, reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid and then drain the pasta. Set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Slowly sprinkle in the flour, whisking it to make a paste. Pour in the broth and continue to whisk until the flour is fully dissolved, about 1 minute.
  4. Mix in the cream, parmesan + mozzarella, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce thickens.
  5. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes, pasta, and basil. Stir to coat the pasta in the cheese sauce and add additional pasta water to thin out the sauce a bit as needed. I usually end up adding about ¼ cup of additional liquid. Serve and ENJOY!

Notes

Cheese: There are amazing vegan options if you want to swap the cheese for vegan mozzarella and parmesan. You could also swap the sauce for THIS vegan protein sauce that is very similar and so delicious!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian

Keywords: chickpea pasta, creamy chickpea pasta